Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis

Drug-protein binding of Danhong injection and the potential influence of drug combination with aspirin: Insight by ultrafiltration LC-MS and molecular modeling.

PMID 27889668


Danhong injection (DHI) is a widely used Chinese medicine injection (CMI) for the clinical treatment of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. In this study, a simple and efficient in vitro method based on ultrafiltration LC-MS and molecular modeling has been developed to study the human serum albumin (HSA) binding of the compounds in DHI. Seven major components including protocatechuic aldehyde, p-coumaric acid, salvianolic acid D, rosmarinic acid, salvianolic acid E, lithospermic acid and salvianolic acid B were identified as HSA ligands and their binding degrees in the proposed non-saturated model were 26.17, 37.69, 99.77, 91.78, 96.91, 99.42 and 98.10%, respectively. Considering the drug-HSA binding property of the compounds in DHI may change during drug combination therapy, competitive binding assay was carried out to evaluate the influence of aspirin on the DHI-HSA binding. Experimental results revealed that the salvianolic acids in DHI had stronger binding ability to HSA than sodium salicylate. To further verify the results above, molecular modeling and probe displacement assay were conducted to investigate the optimum binding site and binding affinity of the ligands on HSA. Our findings suggested that the established method could be a powerful tool to study the drug-HSA binding property of CMIs.